Patek Philippe has been at the top of the horological mountain for decades, but in recent times, the brand has been seen more in name than in material. Like stablemate Rolex, the long and complicated story of how to buy a new Patek Philippe watch is starting to get silly. In fact, in July, a newly unearthed Nautilus model, worth around $50,000 sold for the outrageous sum of $642,000, buoyed by the recent scarcity and unique brand heritage. Flash forward a few months and the Swiss icon is teasing us with not one, but three new releases.
Three new chronographs have been unveiled, with Patek Philippe debuting the Ref. 5905/1A-001 Flyback Chronograph with Annual Calendar and the Ref. 5930P-001 World Time Flyback Chronograph. But while the new pieces are certainly stunning, all eyes are on the USD$309,893 (AUD$415,000) Ref. 5204R-011 Split Seconds Chronograph with Perpetual Calendar.
Crafted in 18-karat rose gold with a slate grey dial, the new piece is a contemporary take on one of Patek’s most sought-after grand complications. This time around it comes complete with perpetual calendar and chronograph indications via in-line apertures, subsidiary dials and hands, all played out in exquisitely balanced detail.
As to be expected, Patek Philippe has added a transparent sapphire caseback that puts the calibre CHR 29-535 PS Q on full display. First introduced in 2012 on Reference 5204P-001, the manual-winding movement boasts two column wheels, and a horizontal clutch and is combined with seven patented innovations. But the Swiss watchmaker wasn’t done there.
The new Ref. 5905/1A-001 self-winding Flyback Chronograph with Annual Calendar takes a stainless steel approach for the first time. Coming complete with an integrated bracelet and sunburst green dial, the timepiece is a bold step into the new world for Patek. Stainless steel is not a material the brand traditionally focuses on, however, the success of previous pieces has shown the consumer appetite is there. A movement that offers day, date, month apertures and a day/night indication in a sleek and stylish package is sure to have Patek Philippe fans salivating, but don’t expect it to come cheap. The new watch will set you back around $59,104 (AUD$80,000).
Finally, Patek Philippe returned to the classics, revealing a new version of the World Time Flyback Chronograph. Inspired by a 1940’s one-off watch, the new release cops a green dial stunningly hand-guilloched with a circular pattern. Inside the hand-polished platinum case, you’ll find the main 24 cities of the world are etched in green on the corresponding disk. This watch is powered by the calibre CH 28-520 HU, equipped with a column wheel and vertical clutch, and retails for USD$100,538 ($135,000)
For a brand so concerned with tradition, the new Patek Philippe Chronograph Collection is a brave step forward. Modern and timeless, the latest pieces perfectly toe the line between conventional and contemporary, but as with all new releases, they remain essentially off-limits. With limited numbers and out-of-this-world price tags, the Swiss icon is playing its cards pretty close to its chest. Good luck getting your hands on these.